By Niño Luces
LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – The chairman of the Bicol Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) believes that the tagging of Naga City by President Rodrigo Duterte as a “shabu hotbed” was backed up by data and might have basis.
In an interview by the Manila Bulletin, RPOC chairman and Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal said it was not impossible for major cities to have the presence of illegal drugs.
“Hindi ako makakapagsabi kung totoo o hindi, pero ang masasabi ko lang dyan hindi imposible na may droga basta major cities. Everywhere you go, even in Legazpi, hindi ko yan pwede itago. Kaya nga continuous ang operations natin, as a matter of fact I would like to commend the PNP kasi we are moving forward na. Madami na tayong nahuli, not just small but big ones, almost more than 10 million na rin yung nakuha natin sa Legazpi,” Rosal said.
Rosal said the statement of President Duterte must be based on reports coming from agencies like the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Dangerous Drugs Board.
“Sa ngayon we cannot contradict, kahit saan talaga may droga. Sa Legazpi may nahuhuli, may surrenderees. But I agree with the hierarchy of the DILG at Dangerous Drugs Board, si Secretary Cuy, si Secretary Año ng DILG na syempre, continuous pa yung validation kung gaano kalaki talaga, kasi na-declare yan ng presidente based on reports naman yan,” Rosal said.
He added that the urgent need now is to determine how deep the so-called “drug hotbed” is in Naga City.
“Ang pinaka-issue na lang ngayon ay kung gaano kalalim yung hotbed talaga. Pero syempre, normal lang yung reaction ng mga taga Naga especially yung council. Papano na ngayon yung status mo as a city, but you cannot discount the statement of the president. Kailangan lang, itong mga taga DILG, Dangerous Drugs Board should see to it na yung statement ay may basehan,” Rosal said.